Is Anne Frank an appropriate Halloween costume for your young child, be it a boy or girl? The Jewish community doesn't believe so, and they've made their voice heard. We're only a few weeks from Halloween and the clock is ticking to find the perfect costume to wear for that Halloween party. We've seen a slew of costumes that people found to be offensive this year, including a "sexy" version of Eleven from the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. Many took offense that the costume was sexualizing a minor while some compared it to the sexualizing of Hermione from Harry Potter and claimed that it really wasn't that big of a deal. But a new costume has come out and polarized social media again, but for an entirely different reason. The new Anne Frank costume for girls has been pulled due to the controversy surrounding the idea to even produce the costume in the first place. At least it's not a sexy Anne Frank costume, which would have made things even worse.
A Halloween costume company has pulled an Anne Frank girls costume off of their website over the weekend, after the costume received harsh criticism on social media. The company, HalloweenCostumes.com, had offered a Halloween disguise that featured a long sleeve blue button-up dress, a brown shoulder bag, and a green beret listed as "Anne Frank costume for girls." The costume description described Frank as a WWII hero and an inspiration stating, "we can always learn from the struggles of history."
Many took to social media to express their outrage over the Anne Frank Halloween costume, claiming that it trivialized the Holocaust. Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) said, "Why would anyone want to 'dress up' as Anne Frank, a young girl murdered by the Nazis, for Halloween?" Laura Marks, chair of HMDT, said, "There is nothing funny about the Holocaust or indeed, any genocide. Some fancy dress simply not ok and can only deeply offend." Jude Habib took to Twitter to say, "Totally speechless. Just been shown this ad for an Anne Frank costume for Halloween. @AnneFrankCenter you might want to have a word."
Public Relations Specialist at Fun.com, Ross Walker Smith issued a statement via Twitter apologizing for the criticism on the girl's costume. Smith had this to say.
"We sell costumes not only for Halloween, but for many uses outside of the Halloween season, such as school projects and plays," Walker Smith said on Twitter. "We have passed along the feedback regarding this costume, and it has been removed from the website at this time."
One has to hand it to Ross Walker Smith for thinking on his feet and mentioning that the Anne Frank costume can be used for other reasons and not just Halloween, even though the costume was being promoted as a Halloween costume. As it turns out, this isn't the first time that an Anne Frank costume has shown up online.
In 2015, the same costume was being sold on eBay as a "1940s Period Anne Frank Fancy Dress Costume" and was promptly taken down. Other outlets have been selling it under a different name, which doesn't specifically reference the famous teenage diarist, murdered by the Nazis. Has the outrage been justified this time around? Many saw the outrage of the costume to be frivolous after many Halloween traditions can be seen as hurtful to other races and cultures. While we figure that out, check out the Anne Frank Halloween costume below, via Jude Habib's Twitter account.